Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Karma: Steps on the Path to Enlightenment: A Commentary on Tsongkhapa's Lamrim Chenmo, Volume 2: Karma (Vol.2)

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9780861714810: Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Karma: Steps on the Path to Enlightenment: A Commentary on Tsongkhapa's Lamrim Chenmo, Volume 2: Karma (Vol.2)

This second volume of the five-volume commentary by the renowned Buddhist scholar Geshe Lhundub Sopa focuses on the key Buddhist concepts of karma, or cause and effect, and dependent origination. Considered one of the finest living Buddhist scholars, Geshe Sopa provides commentaries essential for anyone interested in a sound understanding of Tibetan Buddhist practice and philosophy. Never has a book gone into such clear detail on karma and dependent origination--concepts which, despite many references in contemporary culture, are too often misunderstood. Here, Geshe Sopa starts from the beginning with a faithful reading of the Lamrim Chenmo and, in the end, leaves readers with the proper tools for incorporating core Buddhist concepts into their study, teaching, and practice.

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About the Author:

Born in the Tsang region of Tibet in 1923, Geshe Lhundub Sopa is both a spiritual master and a respected academic. He rose from a humble background to complete his geshe studies at Sera Je Monastic University in Lhasa with highest honors and was privileged to serve as a debate opponent for the Dalai Lama's own geshe examination in 1959. He moved to New Jersey in the United States in 1963 and in 1967 began teaching in the Buddhist Studies Program at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is now professor emeritus. In 1975, he founded the Deer Park Buddhist Center in Oregon, Wisconsin, site of the Dalai Lama's first Kalachakra initiation granted in the West. He is the author of several books in English, including the five-volume comprehensive teaching, Steps on the Path to Englightenment.

David Patt received his PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of A Strange Liberation: Tibetan Lives in Chinese Hands. He recently served as executive director of the Dzogchen Foundation.

Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1959, the same year Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives.

His Holiness frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, he is able to distill the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy in clear and inspiring language, his gift for pedagogy imbued with his infectious joy. Connecting scientists with Buddhist scholars, he helps unite contemplative and modern modes of investigation, bringing ancient tools and insights to bear on the acute problems facing the contemporary world. His efforts to foster dialogue among leaders of the world's faiths envision a future where people of different beliefs can share the planet in harmony. Wisdom Publications is proud to be the premier publisher of the Dalai Lama's more serious and in-depth works.

Review:

"From my first encounter with Professor Geshe Lhundub Sopa in 1962, I have been impressed with his kindness, patience, and thorough-going scholarship, qualities so strong that they obviously are based on profound realization. When he received his Geshe degree, he graduated first among the first rank, emerging as his year's national hero; he truly embodies what being a well-versed Tibetan scholar requires-the ability to think and react within many different systems. His good-humored, compassionate persistence and forbearance over the course of his long and often difficult life shine throughout the heartfelt, practical explanations in these books." (Professor Jeffrey Hopkins, author of Cultivating Compassion, and translator of The Dalai Lama's How to Practice)

"Geshe Sopa is one of the great living lamas we have today." (Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within)

"Those of us fortunate to have studied directly with Geshe Sopa well know what an inexhaustible fount of Buddhist learning and wisdom he is. With the publication of Volume II of his comprehensive commentary on Tsong Khapa's classic Lamrim Chemmo, a much wider audience will further benefit from these unending riches. This text presents the mature development of Indian and Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism--the shortcomings of cyclic existence, the three trainings of mind, the importance of renunciation and generating the thought of awakening, etc.--not just by skillfully explicating what the teachings have to say but even more importantly by illustrating how they should be practiced. As Geshela himself says, 'This is not just a theoretical understanding we are talking about, but a realization that leads to direct transformation of your daily life and the behavior of your body, speech, and mind.' In particular, this volume clarifies the complex but crucial relations between the obscuring afflictions (klesha) and the accumulation and fruition of karmic actions--explanations supported, as throughout this rich text, by copious citations from the great classics of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist literature and enlivened by traditional figures whose lives illustrate the wonderous workings of karma. This text will appeal to practitioners and teachers alike for its comprehensive and crystal-clear presentation, in a direct and down-to-earth style, of one of the great encyclopedic texts of Tibetan Buddhism." (William S. Waldron, Associate Professor, Dept. of Religion, Middlebury College)

"My first real exposure to the great textual tradition of Tibetan Buddhism was through Geshe Sopa's lectures on the Lamrim. It is no overstatement when I say that studying Tsongkhapa through the teachings of one of the greatest living scholars of the tradition indelibly changed my life. And now 'here we are,' as Geshela says in the opening line to this great work. Here we are indeed, more than a quarter century later, in the presence of this vibrant text, a superbly edited compilation of Geshela's lectures. Read it and you will see that his words still sparkle, and that his wit, insight and erudition come through on every page. But read these volumes slowly, savoring them. Make them last, so that they become for you what they have become for so many of Geshela's students throughout the years: a source of tremendous intellectual excitement, and untold spiritual nourishment." (Jose Ignacio Cabezon, XIVth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara)

"Western students will welcome Geshe Sopa's Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, and [also] Yangsi Rinpoche's Practicing the Path. They will serve their readers as indispensable companions to Tsongkhapa's elegant and elaborate Great Exposition on the Stages of the Path, without which the entry into a text of such rigorous thoroughness may seem overwhelming. Students newer to the endeavor will receive a wonderful education from reliable guides. All of us will find our attention focused upon matters of importance." (Buddhadharma: The Practitioners' Quarterly, in a joint review of Wisdom's two recent books on the La)

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